It seems to me that conservatives were so glad yesterday when we learned that the nominee would be Roberts and not a Louisiana judge that Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu (!) likes that there was a collective sigh of relief. Not sighing with relief is iconoclastic Ann Coulter, who regards Roberts as "a Souter in Roberts clothes:"

"It means nothing that Roberts wrote briefs arguing for the repeal of Roe v. Wade when he worked for Republican administrations. He was arguing on behalf of his client, the United States of America. Roberts has specifically disassociated himself from those cases, dropping a footnote to a 1994 law review article that said:

"'In the interest of full disclosure, the author would like to point out that as Deputy Solicitor General for a portion of the 1992-93 Term, he was involved in many of the cases discussed below. In the interest of even fuller disclosure, he would also like to point out that his views as a commentator on those cases do not necessarily reflect his views as an advocate for his former client, the United States.'

"This would have been the legal equivalent, after O.J.'s acquittal, of Johnnie Cochran saying, 'hey, I never said the guy was innocent. I was just doing my job.'"

Maddening Monks

In non-Roberts news today, the citizens of a small town in Florida report that they are being driven mad by bell-ringing monks:

"The controversy began when three monks moved their monastery from Peaks Island, Maine, to an 11-acre tract at 2075 Mercers Fernery Road in June 2004. Two bells, one of which weighs 4,000 pounds, are rung at 8 a.m., 9 a.m., noon, 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. ...

"'If I blow my horn or play loud music, there's an ordinance to stop me,' said[a neighbor]."

The Dollar Position

Whether you actually practice yoga or not, you're paying for it:

"NIH is funding a yoga study at the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF). The agency calls it a '[c]ollaboration with the Center for Integrative Medicine at UCSF and the Swami Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana in India to establish the Center on Yoga, Health and Meditation.' This is part of what NIH calls its effort 'to establish global collaborations and cross-cultural exchange among foreign and U.S. institutions to design and implement research on complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) approaches that have emerged from traditional indigenous medical systems.' In other words, it is a form of foreign aid."

He Didn't Go Wobbly

Oh, George, I foolishly doubted thee for several hours yesterday: But your choice of Judge John Roberts to replace Justice Sandra Day O'Connor on the Supreme Court is good news indeed. For starters: He's a boy. That means that O'Connor's position on the highest court in the land doesn't become a permanent affirmative action spot. For those who want another quick indicator, Roberts has ties to the Federalist Society, which is devoted to challenging the liberal orthodoxy that dominates today's law schools.

Loose Canon wasn't the only conservative who was faint of heart yesterday as rumors of a possible stealth justice made the rounds: "Last night George Bush kept his campaign promise that he would name a justice in the mold of Antonin Scalia or Clarence Thomas," writes new Wall Street Journalist columnist Manuel Miranda (a survivor of the Memogate scandal). "And I for one am ashamed that I ever doubted him. I should have understood the president better. In John Roberts, the president got what he wanted, and we conservatives did too.

"Pop the champagne corks, conservatives," says conservative lawyer-run Powerline. "Roberts is a fantastic choice, a brilliant and bulletproof conservative. And it was fun to see Pat Leahy and Chuck Schumer on television tonight; they looked just awful. After President Bush's terrific, upbeat presentation of Roberts, and Roberts' graceful, brief talk, Leahy and Schumer sounded like they had just dropped in from another planet. They were dour, hateful, and came across as sad and pathetic minions who have been sent on a hopeless mission by their bosses at 'People for the American Way.'"